Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Did Queen ever fully recover from Hot Space in the US?

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kzer_za user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 23 Oct 09, 17:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

(I meant to put this here the first time but accidentally put in on general...mods, you can delete my general post).

The topic about Queen songs on the radio got me thinking about this.

It's well-known that Hot Space pretty much ended Queen's career as the
US was concerned. The Game had been a huge success in America, and then
Hot Space hurt them so much here that they never toured in the US
again. While the rest of the world forgave them for Hot Space, the US their career never really took off again.

In the US, at least from my experience, almost everyone likes Queen at
least somewhat but most people only know their biggest 70s/early 80s hits.
I Want it All is a half-exception, but only because of some use in commercials;
a lot of people don't even know it's a Queen song. More importantly, only a small
 minority of people know any of their album tracks at all.

So while Queen is respected in the US now after
being viewed as something of a joke in America for a long time (as I
understand it, I'm only 22), I feel like they still haven't quite
recovered from their fall from grace then. Sure they're considered a
classic band here now - but compared to other classic bands like The
Beatles or Pink Floyd, a lot less people have listened to even a single
one of their albums. Or even heard of any of them. I can't help but think
that maybe the disaster of Hot Space that made them irrelevant here
 for years is the reason for this.

Let's not turn this into a debate about the quality of 80s Queen please,
that's not really the point here.


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Posted: 24 Oct 09, 20:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I've never posted before, but I've read this board for years and I've thought about this topic a lot.  I believe the answer is no.  I was a 10-year-old  American kid living in England when Bo Rap exploded.  I was hooked.  My family moved back to the U.S. in '78 and I continued to follow Queen.

At that time in this country, as a teenager, you either liked rock music or soul/dance music.  Almost no one where I lived, and I'm guessing in many parts of the country, openly liked both.  Clearly that's wrong, it's just the way it was.  We don't share the same collective cultural awareness here that you have in the UK...if a single is number 1 in England, everyone is aware of it, from pre-teens to grandparents.  It doesn't work that way here.  Too many local radio stations played to many different and rigid formats for that to ever happen here. 

In the late 70's most of my friends here (all of them rock fans) were aware of Queen.  Many of them liked the band and had an album or two.  They were certainly considered a rock act even if they strayed from the format on the albums.  Then came Queen's biggest spell here.   Crazy Little Thing Called Love worked because it was a throwback to Elvis, to the 50's, it was a bit of a novelty, a good song, and most people who heard it liked it....at least they didn't really have a reason to hate it.  Another One Bites The Dust was next, and here's the twist, I believe Queen's biggest U.S single was the beginning of the end of the huge success.  Rock fans considered it "that disco crap", they had their reason to hate it.  Soul fans loved it but wouln't ever be interested in News Of The World or A Day at the Races.

AOBTD got played, and played, and eventually so very overplayed that  the rock fans not only disliked it ..they detested it, resented it and made fun of it.  Even "Dust" fans got burned out on the over-exposure. ..we so overdo things here.

The next song to hit the radio would have to really rock to win back the old fans, who now had a reason to abandon Queen.  We hardcore fans of course never would abandon them, and never haw, but the casual fans were gone.  The next song to hit the radio was "Body Language."  Game over (pun fully intended) Hot Space was here.  I was a Jr. in high school when S came out..  I bought it the day it was released and listened to it right after school at a friend's house.  My jaw hit the floor as soon as it started, and I recovered only briefly during Put Out The Fire and Under Pressure.  For the record I do like Hot Space now, I did not like it at all then..  I was 16 or 17 and trying to convince everyone that Queen was great.  Hot Space was not the evidence I needed.  Body Language got some airplay and I was embarrassed every time it came on.   I still don't like it, but that's my fault, not Queen's. 

So that's my answer...Under Pressure had some real credibility, but I remember hearing it referred to on a national TV show as a "Bowie Song"!  Queen did not recover from HS in the U.S.  I was at University when Break Free came out, and honestly I don't remember ever seeing the video on TV, or ever hearing anyone talk about it.  I think it was already over for Queen here. 

I was thrilled the first time I heard "One Vision:....no one cared.
I was thrilled the first time I heard "I Want It All"...no one cared.

Queen has regained a lot of credibility here.  There are 6 or 7 songs that get play on Classic Rock radio, Including, oddly enough, AOBTD. Most popple love Bho Rhap and Rock You/Champions.  I'll never give up on them. I saw Q+PR 12 times in the UK and US in 05 and 08.  If they tour again, I'll go again, no matter who sings...but I don't expect my favorites (favourites) to me the faves of too many of my fellow Americans. 


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Posted: 24 Oct 09, 21:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hmmm, This topic will run and run, and has done incidentally with no answer, but I always 
wonder if this whole Hot Space album "flop" has been made more of than it actually was. Firstly the release, even though it sold relatively poorly next to all their other huge albums,never seemed to have any long term effect in any other musical territories. Secondly it seems odd that their biggest hits in America were Youre my Best Friend, Crazy Little Thing and Another One Bites, and then suddenly after Hot Space in 1982 America finally said "no you arent heavy enough".  Im not so sure about that. Of course this is just my opinion and i stand to be corrected, but it seems a little strange





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Posted: 24 Oct 09, 23:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Great post, Levon.

Post often.  Please.  This place needs quality people.



"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



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Posted: 25 Oct 09, 11:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Agreed, Levon that was educating and sounds like a winner for me.


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Posted: 25 Oct 09, 15:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

well, i am not really sure about this because i am from europe, but...
the stones released "miss you" and kiss" i was made for loving you", also "disco-crap" for real rock fans and also very popular. both bands didn´t release any real good records after that to "win back" the rock fans but they didn´t loose their credibility as much as queen. correct me if i´m wrong.



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Posted: 25 Oct 09, 17:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































sexmachine wrote:































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































well, i am not really sure about this because i am from europe, but...
the stones released "miss you" and kiss" i was made for loving you", also "disco-crap" for real rock fans and also very popular. both bands didn´t release any real good records after that to "win back" the rock fans but they didn´t loose their credibility as much as queen. correct me if i´m wrong.






























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Fair point.  But note that Miss You and I Was Made For Loving You came out in 1978 and 1979 respectively when disco was popular, while Body Language came out in 1982 when disco was completely unpopular.  The Stones and Kiss were just adapting to the times, while Queen were a couple years too late.

Another One Bites The Dust was therefore not so bad in 1980 for Queen's core fans in the US, as they generally hoped it was a slight hiccup and that their next record would be a rock record since disco was falling by the wayside.  But it wasn't to be.  After Body Language came Ga Ga and Break Free, and that was it.  Had they made Hammer To Fall the lead single from The Works, perhaps things may have been a bit different.

The success of Dust and Body Language in the pop charts was good in the short term, but ultimately damaging in the long term.  But of course, hindsight is always 20/20.  Queen more or less conquered the rest of the world in the meantime, anyway.



"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



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Sheer Brass Neck user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 25 Oct 09, 23:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

And as I was around when it was happening, Queen lost their rock base because even The Game stuff was a lot different.  Queen was a guitar heavy band and then singles like CLTCL, AOBTD, Body Language and even Calling all Girls were hardly rock and barely featured Brian.  When the Works came out with Radio Ga Ga as the lead single, that pretty much sealed their fate as a touring and sales success in America.

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Posted: 26 Oct 09, 01:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks Sir GH and Van Basten.  
Sexmachine, I think in Europe you music fans have always had a much greater appreciation for songs outside your favorite genre.  We're getting better about that here, but back then, there was very little of it.  I too see you point about the Kiss and Stones songs.  I don't recall many camplaints about them at the time because they didn't seem to be quite such huge departures.  Miss You still had that Stones swagger and I Was Made still had big power chords in the verse.  Kiss fans at the time maybe didn't love the Dynasty album as much as the earlier stuff, but they liked it.  They were the first concert I ever saw, and it was on that tour, and it was cool.

Sir GH I think your follow up to sexmachine is spot on.  Body Language was much later and so very,very different from other Queen hits that it just didn't work for much of the US fanbase.  I always had so much respect for the earlier stuff that I figured HS was what the band wanted it to be and they'd make more music I liked later.  They did.

Sheer Brass Neck we're on the same page.  Even the stuff from The Game was different, but it wasn't "Body Language" different.  I don't remember much talk about Queen at all by the time Ga Ga came out. Queen did just fine without us.




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Posted: 26 Oct 09, 01:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The game was an album that gained Queen a lot of new fans, but the hardcore fan was dissapointed, though most of them still thought it was pretty good.    After the game,  their best bet was too release a classic Queen album.  Instead they go all disco on us. Not very smart of Queen!....They still could have regained their popularity with the works, but the decision to release radio ga ga, and break free as singles was once again a bad choice.    "hammer to fall" and "hard life" were betters choices.

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Posted: 26 Oct 09, 07:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Sir GH wrote:

Great post, Levon.

Post often.  Please.  This place needs quality people.


Agreed, this has been a great thread to read. I'm an American fan that was born in the mid 80's. Thanks for the insight & info to all.







"Let us cling together as the years go by; Oh my love, my love.

In the quiet of the night,

Let our candle always burn;

Let us never lose the lessons we have learned." - Brian May
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Posted: 26 Oct 09, 08:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To my eyes (and ears!) it was only a matter of decisions and timing..

Maybe things would be different if they released Hot Space first (1980) and then The Game (1982), and, later on, released Hammer To Fall and It's A Hard Life as singles instead of Gaga And Break Free.

Let me add that this is a very good discussion indeed! Quality topic =)



"The years have been unkind...

but kind enough!"
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Posted: 26 Oct 09, 10:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Levon T said,

"in the UK...if a single is number 1 in England, everyone is aware of it, from pre-teens to grandparents.  It doesn't work that way here. Too many local radio stations played to many different and rigid formats for that to ever happen here".

This is very interesting to read from a British perspective. I was always under the impression the US charts worked similar to ours back then... even with the US being many times larger. After reading this it made sense to me personally that this could have been the major factor in their declining success.

I always just thought it was the Break Free video and refusing to tour, but this could have been what started their demise (in comes background Flash Gordon effects).

In the 70s and 80s, I always thought you guys had the Billboard Chart and thought that it was similar to our main UK chart. (Back when getting to Number One meant you had to actually have a degree of success about your single... unlike today where any sucker can hit the top!!!).

Such a shame tho, cos the American tour bootlegs we have sounded so much fun and so different to gigs from other parts of the world. I think they played doubly hard in the States to  win the crowd/country over during gigs and they would have continued this style mid 80s. (What gems we may have had).


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Posted: 26 Oct 09, 11:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Just to clarify. .this is all just my opinion based on what I remember from 30 years ago.   We did have charts back then and there was a weekly radio show that was syndicated to local radio stations...if they paid for it they could air it....but there were so many stations that only a fraction of the audience heard it. 

I remember in England everyone being aware of the new chart when it came out and the new number one when it was announced.  People in the US certainly knew the biggest hits, like them or not, but it wasn't the same universal awareness and often appreciation that you had in the UK. 
When I moved back to the States I just remember how different it was.  I remember someone told me Bicycle Race was a single and was in the top 25 and I hadn't even heard it on the radio.

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Posted: 06 Jan 10, 05:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hey Levon
 are you my kindered spirit??????????? omg im serious word for word i suffered the same situation in high school
with the spike heads and metal heads nothing against judas priest and all other leather cladden showmen
 but i used to blast the works out of my car stereo in the parking lot of my school and i would especially blast hammer to fall deliberatly so the heaviest of metal fans could hear brians genious but all i would get in return is brian is cool but freddie is a fag and queen arent a heavy band
  im really please to see especially on you tube more and more US queen fans In awe of the sheer genious of the band and even appreciating the hot space era stuff
 even today as i type i despise side one of hot space no offence brian roger john and fred, dance music is not my cup of tea but i did and still do love put out the fire and calling all girls
i feel once they put out ghIII on dvd and maybe a few live dvds from the 70s   77 houston or earls court or 74 rainbow or 75 hammersmith those alone  can show all that queen was the best and most rocking live band ever
  i remember watching  Live aid my friends thought queen was the best band there but we had a major problem in the states capitol emi did not rerelease any of the back catalog and it was becoming more and more difficult to find queen product from elektra/asylum as well that may of had a tad to do with them not getting the recognition they so sorley deserved


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Posted: 07 Jan 10, 01:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi USQUEENFAN...I think we're close. I think I'm a little older than you so the high school experience was different. Class of 83, I had the tail end of The Game and then Hot Space.  I will say that I now like a lot of HS  including side one.  Staying Power is great...very Earth Wind & Fire.
But, yeah, at the time, most other music fans I knew were finished with Queen.  Didn't matter, we still had them, right?
As I said once before....Queen did just fine without the U.S. fans.

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Posted: 07 Jan 10, 03:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

as much as I think it's Queen's weakest album -  I do agree with Mack that it was a little ahead of its time.
I can easily envision it being a hit later on, when that type of sound was in fashion.

however - had it been a hit - who knows what "The Works" might have been....

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Posted: 07 Jan 10, 15:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It wasn't ahead of its time, just face it, its shit. Queen could have recovered from Hot Space, then some bright spark thought of the 'I Want to Break Free' video. Final nail in the coffin.

I Want It All could have created interest but alas, it was the beginning of the end...

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Posted: 07 Jan 10, 15:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The biggest compliment Queen ever got as far as the US is concerned is a mention in 'Quantum Leap'

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Posted: 07 Jan 10, 16:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

here's a link from two months ago

http://www.queenzone.com/forums/1205690/did-queen-ever-fully-recover-from-hot-space-in-the-us.aspx

To the moderators:  album comments should be a 'sticky' at the top of each section.  Seems that this topic comes up every two months.

To the original poster of this thread:  perhaps it was the Flash soundtrack (which should have just been an EP).  Maybe it was the 'Greatest Hits' release (back then, a GH release almost signified the end of a band), or...............side one of the HS album was crap, and side two missed most of the Queen trademarks.


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